So you read about the sudden passage of my office mate, posted on May 28. This here is an addendum of pornographic quality…

Are you hooked yet?

My office mate died in January 2004, suddenly, harshly, and in a compressed time frame. Not only was I grieving and bewildered; I had to move my private practice office within six weeks.

As you know from a prior post, I found a new office within a block, the move was handled by a group of her peers…the physical part went down with some aplomb, but, as usual the psychological aspects were overwhelming, a bait-and-switch of life-death. I had to process the entire affair.

Since I had eaten my way through the stress, I also had a few pounds to lose. So I selected a Palm Springs ‘fat farm’ as respite spot.

The fee was tremendous, but my need was even greater;I elected a room with a room mate to economize.

The dozen of us ‘enrolled’ in the program spent much time in aerobic exercise, both in and out of the pool. The music was rocking a disco beat to accompany the calorie burn, so there was little time to laugh, think, or talk. Just move, move, move.

My room mate often skipped the trimmed-calorie, yet fabulous feasts. I guessed she had her own plan for weight loss. Which, I soon learned, she did.

She and I bonded during the lengthy early morning walks – she was not around for the evening miles.

She confided a bit about her ‘legal spy’ military career, her mother’s lack of acceptance, mentioning a friend who was funding her stay. Husky whispers, brief wisps, laments.

I’m a listener, not a commenter. I smiled, swayed my head a bit like the monster palm trees on the property, careful to acknowledge but not agree, negate, or deny. Which was okay for my purposes too, the few I’d told of my circumstances were too shocked to connect with what happened, as was I.

Then one morning, I spied the bruises under heavy make-up and a new set of bangs. The sprinkle of freckles had ‘bloomed’. She didn’t talk much that day or the next; her demeanor was pretty glum, but she confided her name at last: Air Force Amy.

When I got home, I looked up her site (wow, I thought, she had her own website) and, omg, I was staring at porn. Lots of poses, all impolite.

And it seemed that Amy’s true hair color was strawberry blonde. I recognized our affinity and the quick conversation swing to mother: I looked like I could be Amy’s mother.

Let she who is without sin cast the first stone… Who am I to judge: I lost eight pounds.